- Canterbury Employment and Skills Board, 'Employment Opportunities in Canterbury', December 2011, (www.cesb.org.nz).
- Grooby, I, chief executive, Crane Association of New Zealand and the Opportunity Training Organisation, Careers New Zealand interview, March 2013.
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Canterbury Skills Shortage List', accessed January 2013.
- Infometrics Ltd, 'Employment Profile and Future Demand For Crane Operators In New Zealand', June 2008, (www.infometrics.co.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, ‘2003-2012 Occupation Data’ (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Key Construction Indicators - October 2012', accessed March 2013, (www.dbh.govt.nz).
- Statistics New Zealand, 'Building Consents Issued January 2013', accessed March 2012, (www.stats.govt.nz).
- Steeman, M, Wood, A, Stuff website, 'Christchurch rebuild set to accellerate', January 2013.
Crane OperatorAlternative titles
This job is sometimes referred to as:
- Container Crane Operator
- Mobile Crane Operator
- Tower Crane Operator
Crane operators use cranes to lift and move objects, such as building materials on construction sites, shipping containers on wharves or heavy parts for the manufacturing industry. There are many diffferent types and sizes of cranes.
Contact usCall us on 0800 222 733
What are the chances of getting a job?
Construction activity expected to pick up in 2013
Crane operators are employed across a range of industries, but the single biggest source of employment is the building and construction industry, particularly the commercial (non-residential) building sector.
Building and construction work is slowly increasing, after dipping sharply following the 2008-2009 economic recession.
The value of commercial building consents issued – which is an indicator of upcoming building and construction work – increased by about 7% in the year to January 2013 compared to the previous year. However, this is still about 9% lower than for the year to January 2008, when the building and construction industry was near its peak.
Demand for crane operators will increase as construction begins on more projects currently in the planning stages.
Christchurch and Auckland providing most opportunities in 2013
As the rebuild of Christchurch gathers pace following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, demand for crane operators will also increase. Outside of Christchurch, it is anticipated the building and construction recovery will be led by Auckland, where moderate growth is anticipated in 2013.
Opportunities average outside of the building and construction industry
Opportunities for crane operators in industries other than building and construction are average. Crane operators in industries such as shipping and manufacturing tend to stay in the role for a long time, so turn-over among workers is low. However, many crane operators are reaching retirement age, which is creating openings.
Crane operator employers mostly involved with construction
Most crane operators work in the building and construction industry. However, some are also employed in:
- machinery equipment hire and leasing
- water transport (operating dockyard cranes).
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Progression and specialisations
People usually start out in craning as dogmen, securing loads and advising the crane driver from the ground. They may then move on to operating mobile cranes and tower cranes. Crane operators may progress to supervisory and managerial roles.
There are many different kinds of cranes, each requiring specific skills. Crane types include:
- mobile cranes
- crawler cranes
- tower cranes
- truck-mounted cranes
- travelling gantry cranes
- overhead cranes
- container and harbour cranes.
Crane operators might also be involved with crane site supervision, and rigging and slinging (securing) of loads.
How many people are doing this job?
Job vacancies by region
Updated 30 Apr 2013